Afghan leaders, Taliban attend peace talks in Moscow

Afghan leaders, Taliban attend peace talks in Moscow

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani earlier chose to send a non-official delegation from the High Peace Council, including its deputy heads Haji Deen Mohammad and Habiba Surabi.

During the meeting, the two sides exchanged and agreed on rules of procedure for the meetings of the working group. Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov told the Moscow Times that it was trying to find an "inclusive, inter-Afghan dialogue" to end the conflict. "But we didn't say that there will be any talks with the Taliban", he said.

A senior Taliban official said after last month's talks that Khalilzad had asked the Taliban leadership, based in the Qatari capital Doha, to declare a ceasefire in Afghanistan for six months.

The meeting on Friday demonstrated Moscow's renewed aspirations in Afghanistan nearly 30 years after the Soviet Union withdrew its battered forces.

It's "very important to come here", Azizullah Din Mohammad, the head of the High Peace Council's delegation, told reporters. "All others are facilitators and we should not deny support from any country (for Afghanistan peace)", he added. This is a significant development, and a major departure, since New Delhi has not participated in a multilateral meeting involving Taliban in the past.

Afghanistan rivals failed to reach a breakthrough on holding direct peace negotiations after global talks in Moscow on Friday, the latest worldwide push to end the conflict.

Mr. Raghavan was High Commissioner to Islamabad (2013-2015) and is now the Director General of the government-run Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA) think-tank based in Delhi. "It's shown it is willing and capable of promoting national reconciliation in Afghanistan".

Thousand Oaks Gunman’s High School Coach Speaks About Sexual Assault
Various friends, who did not want to be identified, talked of going to Borderline with Long on a regular basis. The former track coach said one specific incident has stuck with her for more than a decade. "He attacked me.

Virat Kohli lashes out at fan
He had gone on to clarify his stance: "I spoke about how "these Indians " was mentioned in the comment and that's all". On Thursday, the Indian captain went into damage control mode as he put out an explanation for his comments.

5 ways the Mass Effect franchise should continue as a video game
It's unclear what this means, but it could point towards Mass Effect 4, and not a spin-off like Mass Effect : Andromeda . But BioWare shouldn't wait long for the next installment given all the possibilities the Mass Effect universe contains.

The Taliban has refused direct talks with the Afghan government, which it views as a US puppet, saying it will only negotiate the end of the 17-year war directly with Washington. The Moscow meet will be attended by representatives of the Taliban. This week, the White House's special representative for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is touring the region, tasked with pressing the Taliban and the government to form negotiating teams.

Senior Taliban members from their political office in Doha attended to discuss the withdrawal of US and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces and Afghan peace, a spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahed, said by phone.

"This time, only a group has been invited, therefore we are not going to participate in it, but our agreement with the Russians is that this meeting should lead to direct talks between us (Afghan government) and the Taliban, if it does not happen like this, then this will reflect the intention of the Taliban and this means they (Taliban) are not prepared for peace", said MoFA spokesman Sibghat Ahmadi.

The Taliban have so far rejected Ghani's offer, insisting on direct talks with the U.S.

The Taliban is banned from operating Russian Federation as it is classified as a "terrorist organisation".

Russian Federation denies arming the Taliban though it says it's in dialogue with the movement that ruled the country from 1996 to 2001. The Soviet Union's nine-year war in Afghanistan devastated the country and killed at least 14,500 Soviet troops and 90,000 of the Mujahedeen fighters who fought them.

Related Articles